April 1, 2013

straw bale compost pile

Making a compost pile can be as easy as arranging a few straw bales:

Although our indoor worm bin has been very successful at turning our food scraps into worm castings, now that we have a yard we will need a larger outdoor pile to compost food and yard scraps.

We chose to make a compost pile from straw bales for two reasons:
  1. Since we plan on transferring a few handfuls of red wigglers into the pile, the straw bales will help keep the pile warmer during the winter.
  2. Dog-proofing. The fungi at work in compost piles can be toxic to dogs, so this will keep the rotting food scraps a bit more secure than would a more open chicken-wire or pallet-based pile.
This second reason I learned about after getting a scare last night when our dog started vomiting and shivering. I didn't see him eat anything specifically, but we put down some chicken manure that he may have tasted. Poor dog.

I'm currently covering the pile with a window found in the garage. A cover made from rigid insulation and OSB/plywood would be better for the winter.

The disadvantage of a straw bale based compost pile is that it is more pricey than a more open pile with walls made of chicken wire or wood pallets. I may decide to make a pallet box to use to stage more woody material.

In other compost news, the pile of woodchips in our driveway was steaming this morning!

No comments:

Post a Comment